Matzie recognizes Pennsylvania’s pollinators

(Jun 15, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 15 – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution authored by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, that would designate the week of June 20-26 as Pollinator Week in Pennsylvania. Matzie’s resolution is intended to highlight the necessity of pollinators, including birds, insects and especially bees, both in the ecosystem and for the security of the food supply. “Many types of birds and insects, in particular bees, are essential partners for farmers in the commonwealth and across the globe,” Matzie said. “My resolution also recognizes the important role beekeepers play in the pollination process, which enables the production of many of the foods produced in Pennsylvania's agriculture industry.” Matzie’s resolution recognizes the state’s Bee Law, which provides conservation assistance for the protection and maintenance of pollinators and their habitats through the Department of Agriculture. "Our pollinators also play a vital role in preserving the health of our national forests and grasslands, which provide fish, wildlife, timber, water, mineral resources and recreational opportunities,” Matzie said. “It is clear to me that without our pollinators, the commonwealth would be a very different place.” It also notes the work of the Pollinator Partnership, a nonprofit organization that protects the health of native pollinating animals vital to North American ecosystems; the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association; the D Read more

 

Matzie joins wide-bipartisan effort to improve wine purchases, consumer convenience while preserving jobs

(Jun 08, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, applauded Gov. Tom Wolf today for promptly signing legislation into law that will modernize and expand retail sales of wine and liquor in Pennsylvania while preserving jobs. House Bill 1690, which passed the House yesterday with a vote of 157-31, will allow wine to be sold in many more locations, including grocery stores that already sell beer, give more flexibility to the Liquor Control Board to set prices and store hours across the state, and permit direct shipment of wine by licensed producers to consumers at their homes. “Finally the people of Pennsylvania will be able to enjoy the same conveniences they would expect from any modern business when they are shopping for wine and liquor,” Matzie said. “While this bill is far from perfect, it is a good first step that gives the people what they really want: convenience, without sacrificing thousands of well-paying jobs.” Matzie said the law, which is expected to generate up to $150 million a year in new revenue for the commonwealth, will also protect nearly 5,000 family-sustaining jobs. “This legislation will give the LCB flexibility in terms of pricing and store hours, including the authority to open more of their stores on Sunday. These changes will bring our state store system into the 21st century and may even result in the creation of additional jobs,” Matzie said. “I applaud Governor Tom Wolf for his quick action on this bill, and I hope this moment Read more

 

Sale of Pa. drivers' records causes ID theft concern

(Jun 08, 2016)

The York Dispatch reports on Rep. Matzie's bill to make it illegal for third parties to sell driver and vehicle records obtained through PennDOT. Read more

 

Shell's 'history making' decision has state legislators excited about the future

(Jun 07, 2016)

“It’s really a combination of excitement and relief,” said state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-16, Ambridge. “It’s the equal of hitting the lottery.” Matzie said those who own property along the Ohio River are eager to see what Shell’s announcement means for potential peripheral businesses coming to the area. “For manufacturing to come back in any way … this is really the key,” he said. Read more

 

Matzie: Shell cracker plant will bring jobs, growth to SW Pennsylvania

(Jun 07, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 7 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said he was pleased today to learn that Shell Oil has officially announced that they will build a ethane cracker plant in Potter Township, Beaver County. Read more

 

Matzie announces Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program deadline extension

(Jun 06, 2016)

AMBRIDGE, June 6 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today said that the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31. Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older qualify for the benefits under the program. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income and any COLAs are excluded. "Rebates for this program still will be distributed beginning on July 1," Matzie said. "I encourage residents to find out if they’re eligible as soon as possible so they don’t miss out on these helpful rebates." Constituents can also obtain applications and get help filling them out by visiting Matzie’s district office at 1240 Merchant St., Ambridge or by calling 724-266-7774. The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is one of five programs supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Since the program’s 1971 inception, older and disabled adults have received more than $5.6 billion in property tax and rent relief. The expanded portion of the rebate program is paid for with revenue from slots gaming. For more information about the program, go to www.revenue.pa.gov. Read more

 

27 overdose deaths reported in Beaver County this year

(Jun 06, 2016)

HOPEWELL TWP. -- An estimated 221 overdoses have occurred in Beaver County since January -- 27 of which were fatal, according to the district attorney's office. While seven of the overdose fatalities are still awaiting toxicology reports, 20 were ruled deaths as a result of an opioid overdose. Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier said the data comes from the county dispatch center. Since his election, Lozier has implemented a program requiring police and first responders to report suspected overdoses, fatal or otherwise, to the Beaver County 911 Center. Read more

 

Matzie announces over $3 million in statewide historical grants

(Jun 03, 2016)

AMBRIDGE, June 3 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today announced that the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation and various other projects across the state have been awarded grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation has been awarded a PHMC Cultural and Historical Support grant of $4,000. In total, 137 organization from 56 counties applied for and are receiving $1,997,605 worth of Cultural and Historical Support grants. Grant recipients were required to meet organizational requirements to be eligible for the grants, which are based on a calculation that uses the recipient’s operating budget. PHMC also awarded 30 organizations today with $1,233,114 in Keystone Historic Preservation grants. The program is used to fund the preservation, rehabilitation and restoration of historic sites that are eligible for or listed in the National Register of Historic Places. “Pennsylvania’s legacy is rooted in important historical moments and breathtaking cultural offerings, and preserving the institutions that protect and promote these historic sites is important to both our state’s economy and its heritage,” Matzie said. “These funds will allow future generations to experience our state’s rich history.” In total, PHMC awarded $3.23 million today to historical projects across the state through both grant programs. Matzie has served on the Pennsylvania Historical and Mu Read more

 

Matzie to participate in heroin/opioid epidemic public hearing on Thursday in his district

(May 26, 2016)

AMBRIDGE, May 26 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, said he is looking forward to a frank and productive discussion at next week’s Center for Rural Pennsylvania public hearing on Confronting the Heroin/Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania. “Addiction is an issue that every part of this state is currently in the midst of battling,” Matzie said. “But rural Pennsylvanian communities face very different challenges than communities in Philadelphia or even Pittsburgh. Discussions like this one allow us to understand those differences better so that any intervention effort can be made more effective.” The public hearing will start at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday June 2 at the Fez, 2312 Brodhead Road, Aliquippa, 15001. “Personally, my childhood friend Amy Scherfel-Watkins’ son, Brooks, was a victim of a heroin overdose in Washington County last year. Since then, Amy, her husband and her family have been telling the story about the devastation their family has endured hoping to capture the attention of anybody and everybody,” Matzie said. “As she told me, if they can help even one person than their son’s purpose here on earth will be fulfilled. I echo those statements and believe as a parent and a policy maker it is my duty to do all that I can to end this epidemic that is affecting families across Pennsylvania and our nation.” Matzie will join state Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the General Assembly’s Center for Rural Pennsylvania, and Beaver County state Sens. Elder Vogel and Came Read more

 

Matzie: New basic education funding formula ensures equity across zip codes

(May 25, 2016)

HARRISBURG, May 25 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, voted today for legislation containing the new Student-Weighted Basic Education Funding Formula, which is now on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk to await his signature. House Bill 1552 was amended in the Senate to include the formula, which was recommended by the Basic Education Funding Commission in 2015. "This formula will help ensure that the quality of our students’ education isn’t determined by their zip code," Matzie said. "I have long supported a truly equitable funding formula and we are now able to ensure that our students will have a fair chance to achieve." The new funding formula, which would take effect next school year, was designed to distribute education funds across the state in a more equitable manner while factoring variables including poverty rate, local effort and capacity and issues facing rural and small districts. Matzie reached across the aisle to implement a Fiscal Code bill earlier this year that contained a temporary formula and said he was glad to support the effort to make it permanent. "Governor Wolf has rightly pledged to sign this bill into law without delay so that schools across this commonwealth will be better able to, once again, start meeting the constitutional mandate of providing every child with a quality education," Matzie said. Read more

 

Matzie urges eligible groups to apply for GTRP grant before upcoming deadline

(May 24, 2016)

HARRISBURG, May 24 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today is encouraging any area businesses, municipalities, or other eligible organization to consider applying for a grant from the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. Matzie said that any organization currently contemplating projects that involve the development, rehabilitation or improvement of a public park, recreation area, greenway, or trail should consider apply for a GTRP grant. "Making smart investments in our parks, trails and other green areas is a wise move that is bound to lead to further economic development and an increased quality of life for the region," Matzie said. "I encourage any eligible group to consider applying for a GTRP grant." The goal of the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program, which is overseen by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, is to promote the preservation and use of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and river conservation. The application deadline for project consideration at a September 2016 CFA meeting is Thursday, June 30. Grants from the GTRP program are limited to $250,000 for any project. A 15 percent match of the total project cost is also required. Read more

 

Inquirer editorial: PennDot puts drivers at risk of identity theft

(May 24, 2016)

With identity theft ranking among the most common consumer frauds today, one might think Pennsylvania is working hard to protect residents from that crime. Instead, one state agency may be enabling thieves by selling driver's license information to vendors who aren't being responsibly monitored. That fact came out in a recent state Budget Office audit of how the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation handles driver's license information, which showed that a vendor that had purchased records containing drivers' personal information could not prove how well it was safeguarding the data. Sterling Infosystems sold the information that it bought from the state - including drivers' names, addresses, license numbers, dates of birth, and traffic citation histories - to insurance companies, car dealers, lending agencies, and other entities. Armed with that treasure trove of data, identity thieves could easily skip joyfully to their laptops to make purchases in someone else's name. Read more

 

Matzie announces $1.3 million in state grants headed to southwestern Pa.

(May 16, 2016)

HARRISBURG, May 16 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today that $1,318,940 in state grants will be headed to southwestern Pennsylvania to defray the cost of upgrading traffic signals. The projects are funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s "Green Light-Go" program, which allows municipalities to request up to half of the funding needed for their traffic signal projects. Matzie, who is chairman of the House Southwest delegation, said a $1,632 grant has been awarded to Ambridge Borough in Beaver County, part of the 16th Legislative District he represents, to replace light-emitting diode, or LED, modules at the intersection of Route 989 and Duss Avenue. Southwestern grant recipients include: Allegheny County: • Monroeville Borough — $38,602 to replace vehicular and pedestrian indications with LED modules at 25 intersections throughout the municipality. These include seven intersections along Route 22 (William Penn Highway), four intersections along Route 48 (Mosside Boulevard), two intersections along Route 130 (Broadway Boulevard), seven intersections along Route 2048 (William Penn Highway), two intersections along Route 2054 (Northern Pike) and three intersections along Route 2057 (Haymaker Road). • Monroeville Borough — $114,170 to upgrade the traffic signal at the intersection of Route 2054 (Northern Pike) and West Patty Lane. • North Versailles Township — $17,953 to improve the intersection of Route 30 and Leuhm Avenue by in Read more

 

Matzie announces $630k grant for Middletown Properties West

(May 13, 2016)

AMBRIDGE, May 13 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today that Middletown Properties West has been awarded a grant of more than $630,000 to defray the cost of crucial rail projects. The State Transportation Commission voted yesterday to approve $36 million for 15 projects through the Rail Transportation Assistant Program, a capital budget grant program funded with bonds, and 16 projects through the Rail Freight Assistance Program, which is underwritten through the new Multimodal Fund created by Act 89. Matzie said he helped secure the $633,711 Middletown Properties West grant through the RFAP program, and it will help the company rehabilitate 4,800 feet of track and construct 2,700 feet of new track. Statewide, the 31 rails projects announced today are anticipated to allow the state to create 9,200 jobs and retain another 39,000 over the next five years. A full list of the grants awarded today is available here. Read more

 

Commentary: Stop the resale of personal data sold by PennDOT

(May 13, 2016)

What if I told you that your favorite app or website was collecting your personal information and selling it to the highest bidder? It probably wouldn't thrill you, but I bet you wouldn't be shocked.While the idea of anyone selling our personal information may be unseemly, it is a reality of the world we live in. If you don't want a company to sell your information, you are free to delete its app or stop using its website.But what if I told you that some or all of the personal information that you provide to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is sold to third parties who can then resell that information for profit, and that you are powerless to stop it? Read more

 

Matzie announces $299k grant for Leetsdale Industrial Corporation

(May 12, 2016)

AMBRIDGE, May 12 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today that Leetsdale Industrial Corp. has been awarded a nearly $300,000 state grant as part of over $930,000 in state grants heading to the region to defray the cost of crucial rail projects. The State Transportation Commission voted today to approve $36 million for 15 projects through the Rail Transportation Assistant Program, a capital budget grant program funded with bonds, and 16 projects through the Rail Freight Assistance Program, which is underwritten through the new Multimodal Fund created by Act 89. Matzie said he helped secure the $299,862 Leetsdale Industrial Corp. grant through the RFAP program, and it will help the company construct two new spurs and to raise, line and surface track. “This investment by the state in our rail companies is a wise move that’s bound to spur economic development and create and retain jobs,” Matzie said. “Moving freight via rail has long been the way of life in my district and region, and today is no different. It’s a cost-effective way to transport commerce and boosts the local economy by providing family-sustaining careers.” Matzie, chairman of the House Transportation Rail Subcommittee and long a supporter of the rail freight industry, has sponsored a resolution honoring the industry and what it means to the Pennsylvania and national economies. Recently, Matzie was a loud and strong opponent of a possible takeover of Norfolk Southern Railroad, which oper Read more

 

Matzie honors National Train Day

(May 10, 2016)

AMBRIDGE, May 10 – The state House of Representatives unanimously adopted H.R. 835, authored by state Rep. Rob Matzie, which designates May 14 as National Train Day in Pennsylvania. The resolution, which was adopted last week, seeks to highlight the role trains and railroads have held throughout history and the modern advantages of rail travel. "As Democratic chairman of the House Transportation Committee's Subcommittee on Railroads, I feel it is important to offer this resolution to highlight the important role trains have played in this commonwealth’s past and present,” Matzie said. "Trains and railroads are the backbone of America's economic vitality and growth, and are crucial in bringing American goods to market both nationally and internationally.” National Train Day, which was started in 2008 by Amtrak, is a national awareness campaign dedicated to educating the public about the rich history of trains and its intersection with American history. National Train Day is held annually on the Saturday closest to May 10, the anniversary of the pounding of the Golden Spike in Promontory, Utah, which marked the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. “Rail travel is an essential part of our transportation infrastructure, helping to reduce congestion on the roads and in the sky, connecting cities and rural communities, and providing a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation that contributes to our energy security,” Matzie said Read more

 

OPINION: PennDOT shouldn't be selling information

(May 06, 2016)

It’s a yearly occurrence for drivers in Pennsylvania. You fill out your vehicle registration card, include payment and wait to receive your sticker. Or maybe you need to renew a license or transfer a vehicle title. These are straightforward PennDOT transactions that number in the millions annually, but each requiring varying levels of personal information. Now what if I told you that some or all of that personal information that you provide to PennDOT is sold to third parties, who then can turn around and resell that information at a profit? And you’re powerless to stop it? What would your reaction be? Concern? Outrage? Disbelief? All of the above? If one or all applies to you, then we’re of the same mindset. But it’s true and, sadly, it’s legal. PennDOT sells personal data such as information on drivers, registrations and titles to other individuals and businesses. Those third parties have the authority to resell that information for an unspecified fee and without the payment of any additional fee to PennDOT. Recently, in a published internal Budget Office audit, it was revealed that one of the vendors being sold information has been ignoring the security procedures laid out by the state, putting your personal information in jeopardy. Read more

 

State Rep. wants to prevent companies from selling your data

(May 05, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Pa -- New legislation in Pennsylvania may make your personal information more private. For years, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has been selling drivers information. Last year, the state made more than $40 million dollars selling DMV records. That money goes to public transportation around the state and PennDOT says it relies on those funds each year. The companies that buy those records could be using it to get background checks on you. A recent audit shows that one company, Sterlingbackcheck, didn't follow all the security procedures. PennDOT says no driver's information was misused. but it did terminate its contract with sterling. State Representative Bob Matzie says the whole situation has him disgusted. "My main concern is the protection of this data." So, he introduced a new bill. Read more

 

Push to Change Law after Newswatch 16 Investigation

(May 05, 2016)

WILKES-BARRE -- A Newswatch 16 investigation could result in a change to state law. Last week, we revealed problems about how PennDOT sells drivers' personal information. We all need a license to drive on the road, but do we all want the info that's on our licenses sold and resold with little oversight? After a Newswatch 16 investigation discovered PennDOT sells drivers' personal information, one lawmaker is now more worried about how that snapshot into our lives could be exposed. "The investigation by your station really brought it back to my attention," said Rep. Robert Matzie, (D) Beaver County. Read more

 

Matzie recognizes Pennsylvania’s pollinators
Jun 15, 2016

Matzie joins wide-bipartisan effort to improve wine purchases, consumer convenience while preserving jobs
Jun 08, 2016

Sale of Pa. drivers' records causes ID theft concern
Jun 08, 2016

Shell's 'history making' decision has state legislators excited about the future
Jun 07, 2016

Matzie: Shell cracker plant will bring jobs, growth to SW Pennsylvania
Jun 07, 2016

Matzie announces Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program deadline extension
Jun 06, 2016

27 overdose deaths reported in Beaver County this year
Jun 06, 2016

Matzie announces over $3 million in statewide historical grants
Jun 03, 2016

Matzie to participate in heroin/opioid epidemic public hearing on Thursday in his district
May 26, 2016

Matzie: New basic education funding formula ensures equity across zip codes
May 25, 2016

Matzie urges eligible groups to apply for GTRP grant before upcoming deadline
May 24, 2016

Inquirer editorial: PennDot puts drivers at risk of identity theft
May 24, 2016

Matzie announces $1.3 million in state grants headed to southwestern Pa.
May 16, 2016

Matzie announces $630k grant for Middletown Properties West
May 13, 2016

Commentary: Stop the resale of personal data sold by PennDOT
May 13, 2016

Matzie announces $299k grant for Leetsdale Industrial Corporation
May 12, 2016

Matzie honors National Train Day
May 10, 2016

OPINION: PennDOT shouldn't be selling information
May 06, 2016

State Rep. wants to prevent companies from selling your data
May 05, 2016

Push to Change Law after Newswatch 16 Investigation
May 05, 2016